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Busy Weekend For The Wag, With Shows Across The State

By Gary Wien

originally published: 08/15/2023

Busy Weekend For The Wag, With Shows Across The State

Fans of The Wag have four chances to see them this weekend with shows in Atlantic Highlands, Wharton Borough, Edison, and Red Bank. This is a great opportunity to see the band play songs from their latest album, Blue Bottles and Copper Coins, or catch them with their popular tribute to The Beatles.

Up first is a benefit for The Strauss Museum in Atlantic Highlands on Friday, August 18 at 7:30pm. The event will be held outside, so the band is encouraging people to bring beach chairs.  If it rains, it will be moved inside.  A limited amount of tickets are available, and they are $20.00 each. Tickets are available for purchase online.

This will be a special show for Brian Ostering who plays bass and sings in the band. "During my high school years, I used to live right around the corner from this place.  I always found it fascinating!  So much so, that years later, I arranged for The Wag to film two of our music videos there!" he explained.

In addition to "Everybody Said," the band shot the video for "Your Eyes" (shown later in this article) at the museum as well.  Both videos were filmed by Amanda Duncan from Please N Thank U Productions.  The “Everybody Said” video won some awards at film festivals including the Garden State Film Festival and Bergen International Film Festival.

On Saturday, The Wag starts off with a performance at The Canal Day Festival in Wharton Borough at 2:00pm and wraps up the day with a performance at night during the Edison Food, Wine & Beer Fest where they will be performing their Beatles tribute from 8:00pm to 10:00pm.

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The Canal Day Festival takes place Saturday, August 19 at Hugh Force Canal Park in Wharton from 10:00am to 5:00pm. In addition to The Wag, the festival includes performances by Sonrise Mountain Revival, Long Hill String Band, Coo Coo Cachoo (the Simon & Garfunkel Experience), NORToN SMULL BAND, Big Noise Brass Band, Colburn & Co., Bootleg The Band, and Growing Old Disgracefully. The festival also features a narrated boat tour on the Morris Canal, free kayak rides, Wallaby Tales Traveling Zoo, over 100 craft & art vendors, food, fireworks and more.

The Edison Food, Wine & Beer Fest takes place Saturday, August 19 from 4:00pm to 10:00pm at 926 Amboy Avenue in Edison. The event features food trucks, wine, craft beer, sangria, live bands, and local vendors. It takes place rain or shine. In addition to The Wag, the festival includes performances by Nikki Briar at 4:00pm and The Shots at 6:00pm.

The Wag close out the weekend with an in-store acoustic concert and album signing at Jack's Music Shoppe on Sunday, August 20 in Red Bank at 3:00pm.  For any musician growing up in Monmouth County, performing at Jack's is a special event.

"When I was young, the first musical instrument/accessory that I ever purchased on my own came from there; it was a microphone stand that I still have to this day!" recalled Brian.  "I remember taking the bus to Red Bank because I wasn’t old enough to drive, and it was the only item that I could afford.  I knew that I would need it one day, and I felt like this was the beginning of my musical journey.  My first real professional musical item!  Fast forward to my junior year in high school: I got a call from my friend Mikael Jorgensen, who worked at Jack’s, and he told me that I HAD to buy the bass that they just got in.  With my mom’s help, that’s where I got the Rickenbacker bass that I still play! Besides the musical instrument purchases, Jack’s has always been an important place to me while growing up.  I remember waiting in line to get concert tickets from them all the time!  I also purchased my entire cassette collection, and then CD collection, from them!"

The Wag includes Brian Ostering (Bass and vocals), Alicia Van Sant (Keyboards, vocals, percussion, some flute, occasional guitar), Don Lee (Guitar and vocals), and Joshua Van Ness (Drums, percussion, guitar and vocals).

This upbeat high energy band are seasoned professionals.  Whether performing in local establishments or opening for national acts such as Jason Mraz, Rick Springfield, Gavin DeGraw, Phillip Phillips, John Cafferty, Peter Tork, and Jefferson Starship, you’re always guaranteed a ‘Class A’ performance filled with catchy melodies, beautiful harmonies, and exciting showmanship. The Wag has a monthly residence at The Coffee House in Edison, NJ, and has taken part in regional and international tours, including England, Canada, and Japan.  The Wag has also added an acoustic set to their repertoire, further diversifying their sound and allowing them to reach a larger audience.

Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Upstage Magazine, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at

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